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HHS spikers face tough Eastern A foes

The Havre High volleyball team knows it has the talent to turn in a great season this year. They have proved that with big time wins at tournaments like the Electric City Classic, and will hopefully continue that stellar play on Saturday.

Saturday the Central A Blue Ponies will be in Lewistown. The Ponies will face two nonconference opponents in Hardin and Laurel.

The Ponies didn't get off to the best start this season, but they have shown they can be a top contender if they play well. Unforced errors and mistakes hurt them early, but if they can play without hurting themselves on Saturday, they should return to Havre with two more wins under their belts.

"If we play like we did last weekend they are (winnable," Havre High head coach Melanie Skoyen said. "Hardin and Laurel are both very good teams and always have good size."

But hitting is going to be especially key this weekend.

Lexi Olson and Sadie Seidel could have a big day, or could have a tough time. Hardin and Laurel are both big teams and love to crush teams with stuff blocks at the net. It starts with good passes and sets through Peyton Filius, but if the Ponies can mix up their hitting down the line and with different angles, they could confuse the opposition in both matches.

"We have been working on hitting against the block in practice," Skoyen said. "That should be something that we will hopefully carry into our game, and we really need to mix up our shots. If we just hit our same shots and not mix it up, then we will get blocked. But if we keep them on their toes then they won't know how to set up their defense and they won't know how to set up their block because we are able to capitalize on every area of our hitting."

Serve-receive and passing really came on as Pony strength last weekend, and should set the tone again. Filius gets things going with her setting, but Brandy Lambourne leads the team in digs and will get plenty of opportunities again. Defense is also strong, so if the Ponies do get blocked at the net, Skoyen is confident that her defense can recover.

The HHS game plan is the same no matter whom they face. They know they will be up against skill and size, but if they execute well, they should be ok. But if the Ponies don't get off to a fast start, and they can't close out a team (something they have struggled with already this year), they may come up short in the win department.

"We can't go down five points right away," Skoyen said. "We have to come out strong from the very beginning, ready to go, and just play the way we know how from point one."

Saturday in Lewistown, the Ponies will face Hardin and Laurel and non-conference play.


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